Brother Antony was prostrate in front of Father Abbot. He had yet again shown vanity, having been found with a looking glass in his cell.
He was to be punished. But what penance would be suitable for one so caught up in his own appearance that he neglected his spiritual exercises?
It was known that Antony was a skilled woodcarver. The Prior suggested that it might be a way to humble this man, so enthralled with his own beauty, if he were to spend his waking hours beautifying the chapel instead. Surely this would bring glory to God.
Antony laboured for weeks carving the stalls of the choir. Finally the task was complete, and the Abbot came to inspect his handiwork. Antony stood eyes down. Finally, the Abbot showing approval, and asked if he had learned his lesson.
Antony nodded, silently gazing at his own image near the Abbot’s feet.